Two Poems by Katie Peterson
It is admirable when it arrives
in the evening, it obstacles the sunset.
We should challenge what’s gone before.
The stories of heroes should almost end
several times before they end.
From here, it just pillows the city.
What kind of fight does the city put up?
Is a ground lease or a strapped-on time bomb worse?
Blank space left a second
corrects “time bomb” to “tomb.”
What will be here when you’re gone,
is what the city says to you.
It doesn’t say anything to the fog.
It actually wanted to give you back to yourself.
I don’t think it possessed one ounce of progress—
we saw ourselves in the same places
when it dispersed. The city took its usual
shape, buildings implying the streets
that gave them findable
addresses, places to deliver postal mail,
boxes in which letters could be dropped
through slots and sorted into people.
We could even see
how to get there again.
Rituals began in moderation.
Midmorning traffic like blood in a vein.
Katie Peterson is the author of five books, including A Piece of Good News (2019) a finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and Life in a Field, a fable in lyric prose (2021). She directs the Creative Writing Program at UC Davis.
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